October 31, 2008, Volume 8 Number 28
Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,
"Trick or Treat?" It's Halloween and time again for our little ones to don costumes and go door to door in our neighborhoods to beg for candy or a trick. I can't remember my last year of trick or treating as a kid, but for some strange reason I am yearning to be a child once again. It was a ritual that I looked forward to with such gleeful anticipation along with my brothers and playmates - all that candy we'd collect in a night - bags bulging with all sorts of goodies! Let's remember to keep the Halloween spirit alive and fun for our kids this evening. Let's keep it safe!
Ken, the "Guam Food Guy"
Pastries in Paradise Winners
It was a Halloween Extravaganza for this year's Pastries in Paradise, and the first time that I recall the event having a Halloween theme...especially in the judging since the theme ingredient in the Judges Cup was appropriately the humble pumpkin, courtesy of the Guam Farmer's Co-Op. The competition was rigorous, with some astonishing and creative entries. There was even a tie for First Place!
The results for the Judge's Cup Competition:
1st Place - Pumpkin Cheesecake, Raul Cordero, Colors Restaurant Red
1st Place - Pumpkin Trio, Juls Galendez, Planet Hollywood
2nd Place - Witch Creations, Sammy Fellone, Guam Reef Hotel
3rd Place - Easy Pumpkin Moosecake, Chef Suharto, Hyatt Regency Guam
The results for the Bailey's Dessert Challenge featuring Caramel & Mint Chocolate (sponsored by ST Corporation):
1st Place - Bailey's Trio Sensations, Chef Suharto, Hyatt Regency Guam
2nd Place - Elegant De Duo Chocolat, Takuhiko Kishimoto, Guam Plaza Hotel
3rd Place - Sylvania with Bailey's Cream, Rodell Capati, Guam Reef Hotel
The results for the Torani Beverage Challenge featuring "Caramel Sauce or Syrup" (sponsored by Archway, Inc.):
1st Place - Chamorro Cafe Lavazza Caramel Soda Float, Team GCC
2nd Place - "The Special", Jimmy Gwak, PIC Guam
3rd Place - "Red Summer Creamsicle", Steve Santos, Colors Restaurant Red
Kudos to all the teams in this year's competition for an outstanding and imaginative performance!
Looking for an "out of the box" epicurean lunch time experience? Check out Colors Restaurant/Red new lunch menu which aspires to bring much of the culinary world to your plate with 30 different choices. They make the bold claim that these are "Quite Possibly 30 of the Best Pastas, Rice and Salads You'll Ever Eat!", but there's substance to this claim since these are creations by Chef Eddie Chien. What most impresses about these 30 Lunch Entrees is their ethnic diversity, with treats from Malaysia, Japan, China, India, Guam, Mongolia, Thailand, Korea, Hong Kong, France, Italy, Spain, and Jamaica. It's reflective of Chef Eddie's Euro-Asian cuisine experience with the beneficiaries of this culinary global food fest being the dining public.
For this meal I started out with the Dim Sum Sampler ($7), which plates three of their most popular appetizers with their unique sauce additions: Chicken Pot Stickers, Pork Siu Mai, and Pork Pearl Dumplings which are ideally shared by two. I, however, managed to put them safely away. Each of these has their own personality and qualify as good dim sum being fresh-tasting and hand-made.
There are a number of salads from which to select and I happened on the Creamy Shrimp Louie ($12), which turned out to be a "tasting salad" and not one you can make a meal out of. It was, nonetheless, excellent, as it was served with fresh avocado slices atop parmesan-coated crostini, with greens covering up a modest serving of shrimp slices soaked in a Remoulade sauce. (I did say "epicurean", didn't I?)
To wrap up this lunch I needed a main entree and wanted to try one of their pasta dishes. The Seafood Linguine ($13) proved to be a good choice. It had all the rich creaminess you could want in a garlic infused cheese sauce. You could literally see the minced garlic in the bottom of the bowl at the end. The dish features mixed shellfish included shrimp, mussels, and scallops along with salmon and calamari. My taste buds had been elevated so high by the sauces from my Louie Salad and dim sum appetizers that I needed just a pinch of salt on this pasta to bring out the taste to my liking. Sometimes seafood lends its own brininess to a dish, but not in this dish. It was quite satisfying.
Not surprisingly, there was no room for dessert, but for you dessert lovers, you won't be disappointed in the award-winning talents of Chef Raul Cordera as embodied in his Panna Cotta, Creme Caramel, Coconut Tapioca, or his Choco Lava Cake. All you have to do is ask!
Oktoberfest at the Beach
Westin Resort Guam
It was only for two nights, and if you missed it, you MISSED IT! Hopefully, they'll do it again next year! It was definitely Germany on the beach, with a simple three-choice menu and all-you-can-drink Heineken (not German, but flown in from Holland in kegs and better than what I've had locally in bottles).
The good thing about Oktoberfest here is that you have home-grown European talent in the likes of German native Andreas Lorenz, Director of Kitchens in charge of F&B, and Swiss-born Executive Sous Chef Daniel Lenherr. We decided to pass on the Schnitzel Viennese Style and go for the remaining two which sounded more appealing to us. I had the Roast Pork Knuckle that came with braised red cabbage and an awesome potato salad, and Zee had the Grilled Beef Sausages that came with sauerkraut and potato salad. Both had a delicious pretzel bread. The knuckle was huge and full of juicy meat under the crispy skin (unlike crispy pata, this knuckle was roasted to a crisp, not fried). The sausages were superb and we were able to share this evening meal at a bench table on the sands of Tumon. This was definitely a taste of Germany done Guam-style!
Maya Asian Cuisine
Harmon Industrial Park (Next to Sanho Restaurant)
The Harmon Industrial Park is a place I rarely visit for dining out. However that doesn't mean there aren't good places to eat there. A few months back I was given a tip by one of the staff at our office about Maya Asia Cuisine's big portions and affordably priced food. Maya is managed by Michele Carmona, who we know from Tumon's Gan Day Restaurant where she gained some great food experience. This young lady has a lot of talent and judging from the aesthetics of Maya, she has an eye for interior decor as well as demonstrated in the art pieces adorning the walls. Maya's appealing ambiance is not what you'd expect to find in Harmon. To get to Maya, go all the way down the main drag until you see the Black Construction sign. Maya is on the opposite side of the street from that sign.
The menu is Asian, and offers a variety of Thai, Vietnamese, Filipino, Japanese, Chinese, and local island favorites that are featured in daily specials. Monday's three specials ($7.99, served with rice, soup, salad and dessert) were Pad Thai w/Fried Pork Chop or Pad Thai w/Fried Chicken or Pad Thai w/ Okoy (a Filipino specialty). For the purposes of this review, I had the third offering and also ordered Combination Fried Rice ($8) and Spareribs Adobo ($8) from the a la carte menu.
The special is obviously more than enough for lunch, but I wanted to try the Pad Thai and the Okoy which is a shrimp fritter made with bean sprouts and vegetables. These were passable and didn't cause any fireworks for me.
The Fried Rice was more substantial and filled with beef, eggs, shrimp, and vegetables. It was pretty good and enough to feed four people!
I really liked the Spareribs Adobo and was glad that I had most of this meal as take-out, since these were a perfect leftover. I have to come back and try their Tilapia and Pork Chops, as I hear they are worth the drive.
The dessert part of my special was a slice of Bibingka (sweet sticky rice cake), a nice Filipino dessert. Maya Asia Cuisine will also be starting a Buffet Special for $7.99 on Monday, November 3. Now there's a value that's going to be hard to beat! Maya's open for lunch only from 10:30am-2pm.
Dine & Ride III Dinner Menu
Marriott Resort & Spa
If you want a chance to win a Harley-Davidson motorcycle while indulging in a special menu of fabulous creations and all for the great cause of helping Habitat for Humanity, Rainbows for All Children, and Autism Community Together, then you'd better hurry up and get down to the Manhattan Steakhouse at the Marriott for their final week of their Dine & Ride Promotion. Just sitting down in this fine dining restaurant's interior soothes the soul and comforts the spirit. It definitely is "pampering", since the friendly service staff are on a mission to take good care of you - and they do this quite well. Manhattan is renowned for its excellent steak line-up which features Certified Angus Beef (CAB).
I'd been meaning to come here weeks earlier and was glad to finally make it since I'd been dreaming about The Wild Hog BBQ Platter (Baby Back Ribs, Spiced Rubbed Beef Tenderloin, Cajun Chicken and Smoked Bratwurst Sausage, served with roasted potato and Cob Corn, $40). Before we go there, though, I had the Texan Style Steak Soup ($9.50). This comes topped with Jack Cheese and Tortilla Chips that are deep fried and really good. The soup is hearty with a spicy kick. It's filled with red bell peppers, green bell peppers, zucchini, tomato, green onions, potatoes, celery, and chunks of tender beef. The fried tortillas taste wonderful when dipped in this soup's cheesy zesty broth. It's really a gourmet version of beef and vegetable stew - just awesome! I hope Chef Michael carries this one over beyond the promotion!
The Wild Hog BBQ Platter must be named after a Harley Hog since it's a meal for big appetites, the kind of rugged fare fit for a "road warrior"! The tart and tangy barbecue sauce coats the tenderest of baby backs( you have to squeeze hard to find the bones). The chicken breast certainly shows how Cajun spice can elevate a meal. Of course, you can't beat that tenderloin for juiciness and flavor, especially with a special sauce draping it. I loved the smoked Bratwurst I could have eaten more of this one! The potato wedges were ample and the grilled corn on the cob rounded out my road trip. This is pure Americana!!
There is a wine pairing that goes with each entree and appetizer, with wines from Kendall Jackson, recommended by the Chef. The KJ Pinot Noir was a perfect match for the Texan Style Steak Soup. The Merlot was ideally suited to the Wild Hog BBQ Platter.
The hardest decision we had to make was dessert - it came down to two choices, the Hot Apple & Walnut Cobbler ($9.50) or the Baked Chocolate Brownie($9.50), with both topped with Haagen-Dazs Ice Cream. We settled on both! The Brownie was intoxicating, with caramel and fudge sauces streaming across the plate and vanilla ice cream topping the oven hot brownie! The cobbler was equally appealing, with a criss-cross chocolate vine embellishing the ice cream like a skinny bow tie. Get down for this promotion try the Rib Eye Steak or the Grilled Atlantic Salmon. You'll be glad you did!
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